The Moriones Festival is one of the premier festivals in the Philippines as it has inspired the creation of other festivals in the country, where cultural practices and history is turned into a street festival. Moriones festival features men and women in costumes and masks replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers as interpretated by the locals.
Moriones Festival 2015
Moriones Festival is an annual festival which is held in time for the holy week. This is a week-long event which starts on Holy Monday and ends on Easter Sunday. By 2015, this will be celebrated from March 30 (Holy Monday) to April 5, 2015 (Easter Sunday).
What is Moriones Festival?
Moriones Festival features the recreation of the life of Saint Longinus where they play the role of the Roman soldiers. The festival is known for showcasing men and women dress in colorful costumes and wooden masks, helmets and brightly colored tunics.
Who is Longinus?
Longinus is a half-blind centurion who was tasked to drive a spear into the side of Jesus Christ. When Jesus’ blood touched him, his vision returned. After this, he turned his back from his fellow centurions and converted to Christianity.
Main Attractions – Moriones Festival
While the rest of the Philippines go out of town or solemnly visits different churches during the Holy week, the people of Marinduque dress up in their centurion costumes and wooden masks to recreate the life of Saint Longinus.
In this festival, they brave the heat in full centurion outfit and begin the search for Longinus. The townspeople play along and allow the man who plays the role of Longinus to hide in their houses. After numerous escapes and captures, Longinus accepts his fate and his beheading.
Moriones Festival History
The origin of Moriones Festival dates back from 1807 where it was first celebrated in Mogpong, small town in Marinduque. During that time, Mogpong was still considered as a barrio. This first festival was organized by Father Dionisio Santiago.
Now, the Moriones Festival is celebrated and performed in different towns of Marinduque.
Interesting Information about Moriones Festival
Morion means “mask” or “visor”. It is a part of the Roman armor which covers the face.
According to a local guide, there was one year when the local officials started to worry because they cannot seem to find their Longinus. It turns out that the family had kept him busy and entertained him with too much food and tuba (coconut wine).
Bring a camera: Known to feature the most colorful costumes and real-looking wooden masks, take a moment to take photos and keep some memories of this unique festival. You might not be able to see such a festival in other places so take your time and enjoy this festival.
Date: Moriones Festival is an annual festival which is held in time for the Lenten season. This is a week-long festival. By 2015 , this will be celebrated from March 30 (Holy Monday) to April 5, 2015 (Easter Sunday).
How to get there
From Manila, ride a bus bound to Dalahican port in Lucena City, Quezon. There are different bus terminals around Metro Manila which are travelling to this destination.
You may also ride a plane to Marinduque. Unfortunately, only one airline offers flight to this location, Zest Air.